Monday, September 17, 2018

The Best Mother

For all you mothers out there who know the ups and downs, joys and sorrows, and roller coaster ride of motherhood, I salute you. Emily turned thirteen this year and it has involved lots of time spent in her room, eye rolls, and, "whatevers." In addition, it has involved offers to help around the house, thank-yous for taking her to a multitude of parties and events, and "mom I need a hug" comments.

She has also started to show a maturity formerly not shown, so I have been able to leave her at home to work on her school work by herself. I have also been able to get her to do work on the evenings and weekends without complaint. This past weekend was such an occasion. I left her with instruction to work on history and  health, while I attended the SCBWI Ohio North Conference, so that she can forgo a day of school next Friday when we travel to Kentucky to celebrate her Great Aunt Zella's 85th birthday.



The conference was fantastic, I attended wonderfully informative sessions, caught up with friends, and left rejuvenated and ready to go back to the laundry, household chores, and my beautiful, funny, complicated teen.


So when it came time to grab the last book in my reading pile this week, I had to smile. Why? Because it was a book titled The Best Mother. The Best Mother is a tale of a girl who is unhappy with the mother she has and wishes to find a new mother that will give her own way all of the time. She believes she will find this new mother at either the park, the toy store, or the zoo. She questions many mothers only to find in the end that her old mother is really the best mother for her.


And you know what? I know that I am the best mother for Emily. I was not put on this earth to make her happy. I was put on this earth to teach her right from wrong,  to teach her about faith, to help her build her self esteem, to know she is loved, to expand her mind, to think for herself, to keep her safe, to learn how to make good choices, and so much more. And one day when she is a kind, compassionate, intelligent, productive part of society, she too will know I was the best mother.

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by Literacy Musings Mondays for more great blogs as well as my personal website Fun With Aileen where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own chapter and picture books. And finally, you can find me on twitter if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.




Monday, September 10, 2018

Accomplishments

This past week was a busy one, but we got a lot accomplished at the Stewart house. I spent two days canning peaches for winter and Christmas gifts, we worked hard on school work, and Bobby placed the last piece of trim in our basement remodel. After the flood of '07, our finished basement had to be torn out and a water proof system put in. For one reason or another, it took us eleven years to get it put back together, but now it's done except for carpet on the stairs. You can't imagine my joy at finally being able to put out my beloved book mementos. Books by friends, items from book fairs attended, and other assorted bric-a-brac.





I also read two fun books. The first book, The Big Bug Ball, is quite old, but worth checking to see if your library has a copy.  Told in imple rhyme, it is the story of  bugs of every kind and the big dance they attend. The poor little sow bug is nervous about the event because she can't dance, but in the end, all turns out well. If your library doesn't have a coy, but  you'd like to add it to your own collection, you might find a used copy on Amazon.


The second book I read just came out this year and while sparse on words, it is big on fun. How to Grow a Dinosaur is a perfect book for youngsters with a new sibling on the way. It explains how important the role of older brother or sister is and how an older is crucial to raising or growing a good younger.


Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by Literacy Musings Mondays for more great blogs as well as my personal website Fun With Aileen where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own chapter and picture books. And finally, you can find me on twitter if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.

Monday, September 3, 2018

End of One Thing Beginning of an Other

Hey everyone. I hope this holiday Monday finds you all well. Over the past weekend Emily and I wrapped up the Farmers' Market Season with a vendors' picnic. We had enough food to feed an army and lots of fun. Besides providing the hot dogs and buns, I took orzo salad and Water Gate salad. For those of you who have never heard of Water Gate salad, it is a beautiful and light dessert which is quick and easy to  make.

Water Gate Salad

2 boxes instant pistachio pudding
2 containers whipped topping
2 cans crushed pineapple
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

In a large bowl mix whipped topping and dry pudding mix. Once the pudding is thoroughly mixed in, add both cans of pineapple juice and all. Lastly, stir in marshmallows and nuts. The mix will be a little thin but once it is chilled for an hour or two it will thicken back up and have the consistency of  mousse.


Emily and I also have a solid week of home schooling behind us now, and it went well. She is loving Spanish which we are doing online through Duolingo. I assign her 75 points of homework a day, but she is going above and beyond and doing 100 plus points. For a child not usually self motivated, this is a wonderful thing.

And I wrapped the week up with two books perfect for back to school. The first was Sounds All Around a 1st level Science Let's Read Aloud Book. The books is wonderful right from the start with fun end papers worth looking at for more than a second, to the highlighted vocabulary words describing sounds and the body parts we use to create those sounds and those used to hear those sounds, illustrations that help carry the story along, and fun activities to wrap things up. While good for any child, this book would be especially nice for young home schoolers.


The second book I read was Over On A Mountain Somewhere in the World which takes the reader through each continent. Pay special attention to the illustrations by Jill Dubin who created these wonderful works of art from textured papers. This story involves counting and the story can be sung to the tune of "Over in the Meadow" which makes it a perfect book for pre-schoolers.


Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by Literacy Musings Mondays for more great blogs as well as my personal website Fun With Aileen where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own chapter and picture books. And finally, you can find me on twitter if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.

Monday, August 27, 2018

I'm Back!

Hey everyone. I'm back from my short hiatus, Emily and I are back to home schooling, and boy does it seem like the time has just flown by. As I look back, I am amazed at just how many special moments we enjoyed this summer, and I feel blessed.

We went camping with family at Shawnee Park Lodge in West Portsmouth, Ohio which I highly recommend if you are looking for a weekend get-away. We stayed in the rental cabins, but the lodge rooms looked fantastic as well. They have a fantastic restaurant and both an indoor and outdoor pool.





We enjoyed local fireworks.






We went to our state fair for the very first time and saw all manner of interesting things including a cow made of butter.






We went to our county fair where we saw all manner of farm animals, ran into a friend of Emily's, and stayed til dark.










 

  We went to Zoombezie Bay Water Park and took a friend of Emily's along.






And we got together with a few of our neighbors and hosted a block party for people from the surrounding neighborhoods. It was a huge success and about eighty people give or take attended.





But now it's time to get back into the routine and to get started, I popped over to my local library to grab a few good books. Needless to say, I was surprised and extremely pleased to see Ocean Meets Sky in the new book section. Ocean Meets Sky is an incredible book by the fantastically talented Fan brothers and creators of another book I love titled, The Night Garden. The illustrations have to be seen to be believed as they are so beautiful, and the story of a boy's imagination helping him to remember the grandfather he loved and lost is every bit as endearing. If you haven't discovered Eric and Terry's work yet, I suggest you run to the nearest library immediately!


I also read The Party and Other Stories over the weekend. It is a book about Fox and Chick written and illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier. Short and sweet and set up in the graphic (comic strip box) style, this book shows that friends aren't always perfect, but that doesn't have to get in the way of friendship.


Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by Literacy Musings Mondays for more great blogs as well as my personal website Fun With Aileen where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own chapter and picture books. And finally, you can find me on twitter if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Taking A Short Hiatus

Just a few short hours after my Monday Blog post went out into the world, my brother-in-law John went to meet his maker. My heart is heavy for my sister-in-law and my nephews and I regret the loss they must now bear. John was a kind and musical man, but most of all, he was a man who held a deep unshakable belief in his Heavenly Father. He smiled repeatedly when we saw him last not afraid of death. His only concern was for those who he knew would grieve his passing. John is the only relative Emily would play the piano for without hesitation when asked. He was a good friend to Bobby. He readily accepted me into the family from day one. He will be missed more than words can express. For this reason I have decided to take a few weeks hiatus from my book reviewing. Thank you so very much for having followed me on my reading journey thus far and I look forward to posting again in the near future.

Aileen Stewart

Uncle John with Emily and his Grandson Cole when they were small